(WTNH) — Art therapy recently received licensure in the state, giving it added credibility as the field is growing. News 8’s Sarah Cody heads to Madison to show us examples of how this creative therapeutic approach works.

Two practices under the same roof in Madison offer unique techniques for children struggling with their feelings.

Registered Art Therapist Briana Benn-Mirandi was looking for a creative way to reach kids, so she tapped into the cultural phenomenon called Pokemon.

“The metaphors just kind of began to take form- how certain Pokemon could be like certain emotions.”

In this is a “Pok-emotions” demo session at Art and Soul Art Therapy, Benn-Mirandi shows how she uses a drawing prompt to work with a young client. She’s looking at how a child’s creative process unfolds.

“The drawing that emerges is a metaphor for how a child sees himself,” Benn-Mirandi says.

“It’s a lot about watching body language and seeing what the kids aren’t saying,” Stephanie O’Sullivan of Enlighten Multi-Modality Mental Health adds.

At Enlighten Multi-Modality Mental Health , Psycho Therapist Stephanie O’Sullivan uses hypnosis to help teens with anxiety or depression.

“They can go to safe place in hypnosis, then I can bring them to a place that causes anxiety in their mind and they can learn subconsciously how to work on this anxieties.”

Whether it’s tapping into the characteristics of popular characters or even classic dolls, these creative styles are all about finding fresh ways to teach tools that help kids take control.

Research shows that the simple act of making art reduces stress levels. Benn-Mirandi truly believes “creating” is a healthy alternative to medication.


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